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Only likes activities he can do alone:

This can be near the end of the withdrawal road. This sign also may be seen in a child who never developed satisfying relationships with people. These children have their most significant relationships with things and may be known as book- worms or, these days, computer geeks. Their only interest might be music, reading, television, or anything else where they do not have to deal with people.

Being clear about your goal is the key to helping your child. Your goal is not to get him to where he prefers people to his books and computers but rather only to get him to be a little more socially active.

As with most signs of maladjustment, helping starts with your relationship with your child. Show more interest in what he has read, in what he has learned to make his computer do, or in what he is watching on television. When he responds a little to your interest, feel good about his progress. It will additionally help to encourage him to tell others about his interests.

If you try increasing the time he spends with other children, be sure you do not make what is a very common mistake. People often try to match a withdrawn child with one who is unusually outgoing. A better match is with another child who is almost as quiet and reserved as the withdrawn youngster. No, they will not bore each other to death. They also will not overwhelm each other.

There is another potential issue here. Occasionally a young person becomes "addicted" to a particular vidio game or to playing video games more generally. This is not an addiction as with drugs but is a serious obsession with the activity. The youngster plays the games to the exclusion of everything and everyone, if left to his (or her) own choices. If this seems like a problem for your child, start by limiting the time she can spend playing video games either on the computer or on handheld devices. The key is not to stop the activity. Rather, it is to be sure there is time for other activities and people. The same approach can be used with any activity in which your child has become obsessively interested. Also, be sure the adults at home do not themselves have similar obsessions of their own.

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